The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from the disease.
It’s being given to people aged 70 and over, people who live or work in care homes, people who are housebound, health and social care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
We’re pleased to say COVID-19 vaccination services are now up and running in all areas of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
How people are being vaccinated on the Fylde Coast
Large-scale and pharmacy-led vaccination centres
These include a large vaccination centre at Blackpool Winter Gardens, as well as large sites being run by pharmacies at AFC Fylde in Wesham, Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre in Bispham and Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre.
People who are eligible for a vaccine and live within 45 minutes’ drive of a large-scale/pharmacy les site, and haven’t already been vaccinated, will receive a letter from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service telling them how they can book their appointment.
- People who receive a letter to book their appointment will be asked to book online or to call a number which is free of charge.
- If you choose to book online, you may be given the option of various vaccination centres and you can choose the one which suits you best.
- If you receive a letter and have already been vaccinated or have another appointment booked, then you can ignore the letter.
- If you receive a letter saying an appointment has been booked for you but you do not wish to travel, then please call the number in the letter to cancel it.
If you are housebound please see the information below.
We are encouraging people not to delay having their vaccine, but if you are unable to travel to a vaccination centre or would rather wait for an appointment closer to home, you can choose to wait for your local GP-led service (details below) to be in touch to offer an alternative.
Local GP-led vaccination services
Local vaccination services are run by groups of family doctors working together in ‘primary care networks’. Across the Fylde Coast a total of nine sites have been set up to cover registered patients of the following GP practices:
- Lytham St Annes network (Ansdell Medical Centre, Fernbank Surgery, Holland House Surgery, Old Links Surgery, Parcliffe Medical Centre, Poplar House Surgery)
- Blackpool Central network (Bloomfield Medical Centre, Layton Medical Centre, Marton Medical Centre, Newton Drive Health Centre, Waterloo Medical Centre)
- Wyre and Fylde Rural Extended Network (Over Wyre Medical Centre, Garstang Medical Practice, Great Eccleston Health Centre, Ash Tree House Surgery, Kirkham Health Centre)
- Wyre Integrated Network (Beechwood Surgery, Lockwood Avenue Surgery, Queensway Medical Centre, The Village Practice)
- Blackpool Central West network (Adelaide Street Surgery, Elizabeth Street Surgery, South King Street Medical, St Paul’s Medical Centre)
- Blackpool South network (Abbey Dale Medical Centre, Arnold Medical Centre, Highfield Surgery, Stonyhill Medical Practice)
- Torrentum network (Thornton Practice, Cleveleys Group Practice, Crescent Surgery)
Because practices are working together to provide this service, when you are invited for your vaccination it may not be your own GP practice that contacts you, but the local vaccination service.
If you are registered with one of the practices above and haven’t yet had your vaccination, you may receive a letter from the national booking service to attend a large scale centre before you receive an invite to a local GP led site. While we are encouraging people not to delay having their vaccine, if you are unable to travel to a vaccination centre or would rather wait for an appointment closer to home, you can choose to wait for your local GP-led service to be in touch to offer an alternative.
Patients registered at:
- Blackpool North network (Glenroyd Medical Centre, North Shore Surgery)
- Fleetwood network (The Mount View Practice, Broadway Medical Centre, Fleetwood Surgery)
will be invited to attend their nearest vaccination centre, which includes Moor Park Health, Bispham and Leisure Centre and Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre, Fleetwood (as detailed above). You won’t be contacted by a GP led service, as your nearest local sites are pharmacy led.
Most care home residents and staff have now been vaccinated across the whole of the Fylde Coast. Those who haven’t yet been vaccinated will receive their vaccination by the end of January (with the exception of those residents and staff who are either in a home where there is currently a COVID outbreak or are currently COVID positive). These vaccinations have been delivered by community teams.
People who are housebound
As well as care home residents and staff, community teams are also vaccinating everybody who is housebound across the Fylde Coast. They will initially focus on people who fall into the first four JCVI categories.
Anyone who is housebound is not expected to travel to a vaccination site. Arrangements will be made for you to have your vaccine in your home and a local NHS service will contact you to book this shortly.
If you receive a letter from the national NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service saying an appointment has been booked for you but you do not wish to travel, then please call the number in the letter to cancel it. If the letter is asking you to book an appointment yourself, you can simply ignore it.
Hospital hub vaccination sites are run by local hospitals and primarily provide vaccinations to health and social care frontline staff. Across Lancashire and South Cumbria there are 11 hospital hub sites. The site on the Fylde Coast is Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The first four vaccine priority groups as recommended by the JCVI are as follows:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
The intention is to have all individuals within these groups vaccinated by mid-February. Having completed most of the first two cohorts, vaccinations will now move on to groups 2 and 3 (with any remaining people in the first two cohorts considered a greater priority). In order to minimise wastage and maximise the pace of the programme, clinics are being encouraged to have reserve lists of people who could come in at short notice if any vaccine is still available at the end of a clinic. Currently, people on these reserve lists will come from either cohort 3 or 4, so there may be instances where somebody aged 71 may receive a vaccine before someone aged 78 for example.
For a full list of the JCVI priority groups visit the Government website: JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK
We would like to thank you for your patience at this time and ask that you do not contact local NHS services to book a vaccine. You will be contacted when the time is right.
Fylde Coast highlights
Visit our Fylde Coast highlights page to view videos, pictures and case studies of the vaccine being delivered in our area.
Delaying the second dose
Following a review of clinical evidence and latest public health data, the JCVI and the UK Chief Medical Officers have updated guidance for the NHS on the second dose for both vaccines, meaning they can be safely offered up to 12 weeks apart.
To explain, the NHS is following new guidance from the Government’s expert advisors which says that prioritising a first dose for as many people as possible will save more lives.
This is because even with just one dose the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been estimated to offer 89 per cent effectiveness from two weeks after it is given and the Oxford/AstraZeneca has been estimated to offer 74 per cent effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.
As the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam, has said: “The evidence clearly shows vaccinated individuals get almost complete protection after the first dose. Simply put, every time we vaccinate someone a second time, we are not vaccinating someone else for the first time. It means we are missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the chances of the most vulnerable people getting severely ill from COVID-19. If a family has two elderly grandparents and there are two vaccines available, it is better to give both 89 per cent than to give one 95 per cent protection with two quick doses, and the other grandparent no protection at all.”
The Government’s ambition, if supplies allow, is to have offered vaccines to the most vulnerable 13 million people by the middle of February.
Therefore, as a key part of the national effort to protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, booster doses will now be delivered within 12 weeks of the first dose.
It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.
Find out more here Healthier Lancs and South Cumbria :: Getting my vaccination (healthierlsc.co.uk).